Today’s blog was written by my little sister, Carmela. These are her memories of Life on the Rose Farm.
I always get a warm feeling inside when I remember growing up on the farm in Harleton, Texas. I was the baby of the family, so a lot of my memories at that time are pretty fuzzy. There are a few things that stand out quite clearly in my mind, however. We laugh about them at family get-togethers. Like the time when Kathy wanted to fly away with the crows. She had me convinced that she was going to make some wings. I don’t know how many chicken feathers I gathered for her that year! Or there was the time when Kathy was gathering eggs in the henhouse and a spider got caught in her throat. Don’t ask me how that happened, and I’m sure it was very unpleasant for Kathy at the time, but we all had fun laughing about it after the fact.
But I can’t just pick on Kathy, although she was definitely one of the more interesting people in our family. Anyone who thinks skunk smells good…never mind.
I don’t really remember this but Mom always tells a story about Bob and the bobby pins. She said that Nancy and Kathy always left their bobby pins about on the floor, tables, wherever, and when they needed them, they didn’t have them–so enterprising Bob decided to go into the business of gathering up the bobby pins and selling them back to Kathy and Nancy. I heard tell he made quite a lot of money that way. There was also the time when I slammed the door of Bob’s new Corvair on Daddy’s thumb. Sorry, Dad. At least his nail grew back in a few months. Didn’t one of the cats have kittens inside that car?
I remember Nancy bringing home a dog “Classie”. I don’t remember what kind of dog she was, but I remember spending many hours outside playing with that faithful friend. She taught me how to dig in the dirt to lie down–it was much cooler that way. I also had a pet cat named “Snowball”. She had lots of babies and we always had kittens to play with.
There was the time I tried to befriend a wild cat and had to get stitches in my head for my efforts. There was the time when the little boy down the road came over and shouted, “Ya’ll’s bare bottom’s on fire!” I still don’t know what he meant by that.
I remember watching “Mr. Ed” and “Captain Kangaroo” on our old black and white television. I remember watching the first man to walk on the moon on that TV as well as news of the assassination of President Kennedy. I was sitting in Mom’s lap when it came on to interrupt our regular shows. I was too young to understand the implications, but I knew that something terrible had happened to the man who ran our country.
I remember one Christmas season when I was about four years old, and it snowed–a monumental event in East Texas. Everything was covered with pristine white and for the first time in my life I knew what a winter wonderland really looked like. We all dressed up in our warmest clothes and walked to the woods at the far end of our property. We picked out the perfect Christmas tree, chopped it down, and carried it back to the farmhouse to decorate it.
Mom always had presents for us on Christmas day without fail, regardless if there was money to buy them or not. Usually, she spent all year long working on the making of them. She sewed clothes for us, clothes for our dolls, made candy and goodies and all kinds of wonderful things. After Christmas was over, the tree would come down and it would lie outside behind the house for weeks afterwards, making the perfect place to crawl into and take a nap. Mom and Dad could never figure out why I always had icicles in my hair when I came inside.
I remember mealtime on the farm-it was the best time of the day. The family was always together at the dinner table. The smells were wonderful. Mom always had freshly baked rolls or biscuits hot from the oven dripping with melted butter. Sometimes Nancy helped her make supper, and if Bob got wind of it he would deliberately goad her and say supper tasted horrible! But then he would laugh and eat second helpings!
We used to have a baby calf on the farm and we treated it like a pet. We named him “Bully Boy”. We knew we couldn’t keep him, but when he was butchered and placed on our plates, nobody would eat!
I remember getting into the old Dodge Dart and turning on the 4-70 air conditioner–that is, we rolled down four windows and drove 70 miles per hour, as my Dad used to say. Sometimes we drove to Pittsburg to see Mama and Granddaddy. Other times we drove to Waco to visit 2Dee (Mom’s father).
Sometimes we went on vacations–we visited Padre Island, or Mexico, or Santa Fe. Once we visited Carlsbad Caverns and got to see all the bats flying out of the caves at night. We spent a lot of time in the pool at the motel and I learned how to swim there.
For awhile 2Dee and Aunt Annie lived on the farm with us in an old trailer. I used to sneak over to see them at lunch time and 2Dee would make my favorite meal–a hamburger and cream style corn.
Living on the farm was always an adventure, from the moment we got up in the morning until we went to bed at night. There was always something to do. I remember walking with my Dad all over the farm while he peeled an orange and shared it with me. I remember picking wild berries and eating them or putting them in a pail to bring home so Mom could make a pie or some jam. I usually ate them all before I could get them home.
I remember planting seeds and picking the fruit and vegetables they bore, feeding the chickens and gathering eggs, milking the cow, and taking turns churning butter from the fresh cream (and Kathy telling her teacher that she couldn’t do her homework because she had to churn butter all night.) I remember Nancy squirting me with the hose on a hot summer day, or doing a “make-over” on me. I loved the way it felt when she brushed and played with my long red hair which was usually a rat’s nest after a hard day of playing. I don’t remember tasting the dog’s food, though everyone said that I did. I must have blocked that out of my memory.
Mostly I remember the love our family shared together at that time of our lives–as always. But on the farm–working together, playing together, eating together, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life were undeniably the best times of my youth.
Carmela Rose Worner The Book Worm